How Long You Should Train Your Puppy or Dog a Day: An Interview with Holly Ovington KPA-CTP | Pupford
November 16th, 2022
Filed under Podcasts
Wondering how long you should train your dog each day? In this episode, we sat down with Holly (certified trainer) to discuss how long you should be training your puppy every day (hint... it's not what you're expecting).
Remember, short bursts of training are often better than long, drawn-out sessions!
Let’s get into it!
INTRODUCTION OF HOLLY OVINGTON
Holly has been passionate about dogs from the get-go! Holly was part of 4-H dog clubs from a young age, learning to train and show her own dogs.
Holly is certified with the Karen Pryor Academy, a Fear-Free Certified Trainer, an Instructor for Dog Biz Dog Walking Academy, and Walks N' Wags First Aid Certified and runs Positive Paws Training in the Vancouver area.
Holly's next goal is to complete a certification in separation anxiety.
Connect with Holly via her website .
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OVERVIEW OF HOW LONG YOU SHOULD TRAIN YOUR DOG EACH DAY
In our interview, Holly helps answer the ever-important question of how long you should train your dog each day!
And while there isn't one hard rule, Holly recommends no longer than 5 minutes for each session!
Beyond that, you'll want to try to shoot for about 30-60 minutes total. But again, break that time up into short bursts of training!
🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for a 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George. Get access to videos & daily tips covering biting, leash walking, potty training and more! 🐶
SPEAKING IN GENERALITIES, TYPICALLY HOW MANY MINUTES SHOULD A PUPPY TRAINING SESSION BE? ()
I asked Holly how many minutes a puppy training session should be, and here is her answer. (This is applicable generally for older dogs, too.)
- I usually would never do more than 5 minutes (and that can even be a little too long)
- Depends on the dog, but 3-5 minutes seems to be the sweet spot
- Some factors will be your puppy's current skill level with the specific behavior, their current energy level, etc.
SO 3-5 MINUTES. WILL YOU NORMALLY DO THAT IN BURSTS, AND THEN PLAY? HOW DO I KNOW THAT I AM PUTTING IN ENOUGH TIME? ()
- Short little bursts are great!
- Make sure you are giving your pup a lot of reinforcement during their training
- Then take a 5-10 minute break - play, enrichment toy, or power nap
- If you work from home and carve out some time every few hours that is also great!
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN TELL A TRAINING SESSION IS GOING TOO LONG? ()
- Signs of frustration - they were doing well and now you are losing some of that success
- Common behaviors like yawning, looking away, or trying to disengage
- Keep it short so that you can quit while you’re ahead
- Always finish your training session on a positive note
FOR YOUNG PUPPIES WITH SHORT ATTENTION SPANS, WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU HAVE FOR PET PARENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO KEEP THEIR DOGS ENGAGED DURING TRAINING? ()
- Make sure their needs are checked off first (well rested, potty break, etc.)
- With puppies, you may want to take a bigger break between sessions - like 30 minutes
- Try as much as possible to make the training session fun, by playing game-type training ()
LAST QUESTION HERE, WHAT OTHER BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU TRY AND FORCE YOUR SESSIONS TO GO TOO LONG? ()
- Always most important to quit while ahead, if not your dog could leave the training session not understanding the behavior
- Where you end it is what they will remember when you begin next time
- They could regress
- When you go too long, you could get frustrated as well, and you want to keep it positive
RECAP OF HOW LONG YOU SHOULD TRAIN YOUR DOG A DAY ()
Here's a quick recap of how long you should train your dog a day, including puppies:
- Keep it short, think 3-5 minutes
- Do small sessions that add up to around 30-60 minutes total, if possible
- If it’s ever too hard give them a treat and let them lie down
- Our dogs have feelings and they need a break
If you are putting in the effort to train your pup, you obviously want to get the best results possible! Sticking to short bursts of training, followed by rest and play will help you be the most successful. Always remember that your dog’s needs are met first and you end on a positive note, to progress how you would like. For more on training with Holly, check out our podcast episode, .
And don't forget, you can sign up for our 100% free online dog training course, 30 Day Perfect Pup with Zak George! You'll get access to videos & daily tips covering biting, leash walking, potty training, and more!
Let us know what other training questions you have in the comments below!